WHAT IS MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy?
MDMA, or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, treatment is a form of assisted psychotherapy that
helps to relieve trauma. Specifically, it causes an elevated mood, feeling of connection, and increased
energy, which has been proven to lead to clinically significant reductions in trauma scores. 9 It is safe
and tolerated well both physically and mentally, and has been shown to result in feelings of gratitude,
calm, and appreciation for the sacredness of the human experience.
When it is possible to find meaning in our lives no matter what challenges we face in our day-to-day
world, we are more likely to be resilient and thrive. When we have mental health challenges, however,
we sometimes have difficulty imagining a different future for themselves. A new way of seeing the
possibilities ahead, and finding a sense of deep awareness of self is more likely through the use of
MDMA-assisted therapy. 10 It shifts our view of our past personal experiences, and allows us to access
the healer inside of all of us. It allows us to discover ourselves and our gifts through the lens of
curiosity, rather than the painful ways we have known ourselves in the past.
Commonly referred to as ecstasy, E or molly, MDMA is a psychoactive drug that has had a long history of being used for recreational purposes. Before it gained popularity recreationally, it was used in its unadulterated form as an effective adjunct to psychotherapy.
When the drug was first rediscovered in the 1970s, MDMA was found to robustly influence human emotional status in a unique way without adversely affecting physiological functions or perception, such as visual perception or cognition.
A study conducted by the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme found that the areas of the brain that process autobiographical memories exhibit a less severe response to negative memories when under the influence of MDMA. The combined neurobiological effects of MDMA increase compassion, reduce defenses and fear of emotional injury, and enhance communication and introspection.
Under the influence of MDMA, clients feel safe to explore past memories and experiences that may have felt intolerable to revisit. MDMA can help to provide a safe container for the client so that they can do the therapeutic work.
MDMA transiently increases heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature in a dose-dependent manner that is generally not problematic for physically healthy individuals. Serious Adverse Events involving administration of MDMA in MAPS studies have been uncommon and non-life threatening.